India has cancelled flights between the two countries and barred Qatar Airways from landing in the country, in a move that could escalate a crisis that has sparked protests across the Middle East.
The country’s transport ministry announced on Wednesday that it had decided to shut down the Qatari Airways route between the Arabian Gulf and India on the pretext of illegal flights, which were being operated by Qatar Airways in violation of the civil aviation laws.
India’s foreign ministry issued a similar statement to the foreign ministry of Qatar, which said that it would continue to fly on its routes.
Qatar Airways is a private airline operating between Dubai and the UAE.
Qatar is currently embroiled in a dispute with India over allegations of alleged misuse of airspace by the Indian military.
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain accuse the Gulf state of using airspace controlled by India’s Air Force in violation the country’s airspace laws.
Qatar has denied the allegations.
India and Qatar had been in talks over a joint venture for air-traffic control in India.
Indian government sources have told Reuters news agency that the talks are ongoing and that it is possible that a deal could be signed by the end of the week.
They said that Indian ministers are also expected to hold talks with Qatar Airways representatives.
Qatar Airlines has been operating flights between Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Qatar since December 2013.
The airline says it operates flights to and from the UAE and Bahrain.
India has a total of 24 domestic flights between India and the Gulf, including flights between Delhi and Doha and to Doha, as well as flights to India and Dubai.
India is the world’s second-largest net exporter of goods and services after the United States.
It has more than $10 trillion in trade with the Gulf and more than 50% of its exports are from the region.
It is also the second-biggest buyer of crude oil from the Gulf region after the US.
In March, the Indian government announced plans to buy 1.5 million tonnes of fuel oil from Qatar, after its own government announced a $2 billion deal to purchase 2.2 million tonnes from Qatar last year.
The two countries also have long-standing diplomatic relations.
In December 2013, the United Arab Emirate announced a deal to buy Qatar a third of its natural gas supply from India for the next two decades.
The Indian government has also invested in Qatar, buying 1.8 billion cubic metres of gas in the Gulf country, including a pipeline project.
The gas will be sold at a discount to Indian buyers.
Qatar’s decision to suspend flights between Qatar and India came after a group of activists held a protest outside India’s Ministry of External Affairs in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, accusing the Indian army of abusing its jurisdiction.
The protesters were also protesting a deal that Qatar signed with Saudi Arabia in April 2018 for the Indian Navy to supply the Indian Air Force with combat aircraft.
The deal will see the Indian navy buy up to 2,500 aircraft from the Saudi Arabian Air Force, and the Indian air force buy up up to 3,200 aircraft from Qatar.
In February 2019, India and Russia signed a contract to build the Indian-built Rafale fighter jet, and Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said in March that the Rafale would be ready for the air force by 2020.
The jet was due to enter service in 2020, and will be a new fighter for the country.
The UAE is also expected soon to announce a $10 billion deal with Qatar to purchase 20 Typhoon fighter jets from the country in a deal likely to be worth about $6 billion.
The Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a grouping of Gulf countries that share a common interest in regional stability.
The GCC states are predominantly Sunni Muslim, and their members have been involved in a series of proxy wars and regional conflicts since the early 2000s.
Qatar, a tiny, oil-rich Gulf nation with a population of around 1.2 billion, is the main exporter to the Gulf.